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The Mamore Loner

The Mamore Loner


Postby Papagenos » Fri May 08, 2009 7:47 am

Munros included on this walk: Binnein Beag

Date walked: 08/05/2009

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If Binnein Beag was a human it would be one of life’s loners. Stuck their in the corner of the playground with its bigger brother Binnein Mor back turned to ignore him, keeping the smaller Beag at arms distance. Why pay any attention to Beag when you can talk excitedly to all your other interesting mates in the Mamores. It’s easy being a mountain when you are the largest in the class. Even the neighbouring bulk of Sgurr Eilde Mor stands to one side a looming, lurking mountain, one you can’t quite trust like the class bully. One moment full of smiles and pats on the back, your best friend and the next a raging temper and pokes in the eyes as you become his sworn enemy, his latest object of spite.

Having larked around with the more interesting boys in the Mamore playground I had seen Binnein Beag from a distance but never up close. I was intrigued, I wanted to get closer, wanted to begin to know this shy, retiring mountain, what makes it tick. My task was to go and introduce myself to this elusive mountain and try and start a relationship. Binnein Beag was not going to make this an easy task. I had a long walk into remote country to even catch a glimpse let alone get up close, but the walk along a fine, airy, stalkers path high above the lonely Loch Eilde Mor makes for a quick, unseen approach. Tip-toeing around Coire an Lochain I get my first glimpse of Binnein Beag ahead of me, trying to hide itself behind the broad shoulder of Binnein Beag My pace quickens, eagerly pushing forward to get closer. Who said this encounter was going to be easy?

There before me opens the grassy hollow of Allt Coire a’Bhinnein blocking any quick progress towards my target. It is though a deep, fortified moat full of untold horrors has been thrown before me to thwart my onward journey. Not being disheartened I press on, soon descending via zig-zags to the river below, briskly fording it via stepping stones to the path beyond. All the time my goal remains before me.
Binnein Beag 001.jpg


Perhaps, I have been noticed by my lone quarry as it attempts to hide its face with a scarf of wispy cloud, although it is only a momentary mask soon dissipating to reveal the summit again. There’s no hiding from me now, firmly in my sights I stride on to the high bealach separating Beag from Mor, finally ready to introduce myself.

Hang on a minute, am I rushing things? No loner will appreciate a hasty, over-confident approach - softly, softly is definitely needed on this occasion. I paused awhile on rocks beside a small lochan, to contemplate, over lunch, the life of a loner. I thought this quiet contemplation would be ruined as I saw a group of fellow walkers paused upon the lower ridge of Binnein Mor, but they were to ascend rather than join me in my quiet space. They obviously recognised that today, like the mountain behind me, I was a loner as well.

Close up my quarry doesn’t make it any easier, the shattered slopes of ankle-breaking blocks scattered carelessly in order to catch out the unwary. I am determined though, such defences will only slow but not deter. I make speedy progress nimbly avoiding the loose scree slopes strategically placed to slow and dissuade. The barriers are breached as I reach the small summit plateau and introduce myself to my conquered prey.
Binnein Beag 02.jpg


And now I realise that there are sometimes benefits to being an outsider. Binnein Beag’s solitude gives an opportunity to appreciate things from a distance. Those other mountains that you take for granted up close take on a different persona from this angle. The mighty bulk of Ben Nevis dominates Glen Nevis stretching back along the Grey Corries. Straight ahead, the other Mamores snake off into the distance. Glancing behind, you look straight in to the dark barren depths of Rannoch Moor. At this point, as you stare transfixed into miles of nothingness, you understand that perhaps loneliness is all relative.

Binnean Mor Log.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Papagenos
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby Myth » Fri May 08, 2009 10:48 pm

Woohoo - nice report, nice piccies... never been out there, but gazed upon it with some envy whilst we pushed up An Gearanach and along the first ridge last year going round the Ring of Steall - it stood out so clearly... and now I want to go and try it for myself!

Very poetic, and a lovely contrast in writing style - thanks.
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby mountain coward » Sat May 09, 2009 3:13 am

Yeah! really liked that report too - a real change in style! I really liked Binnein Beag but originally, when I first saw it, I thought it looked like a terrifying mountain surrounded by steep and scary loose scree slopes and had no idea how I'd get up it as I hate that sort of thing. When I took the same route out as you did and got to the foot of the ridge up it, I saw it was really quite a friendly mountain after all, and I love that lochan at its foot. One I'd do again... Really like your photo looking down at the lochan from above - hope you don't mind me adding another photo...
Mamores,Binnein Beag.jpg
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby Papagenos » Sat May 09, 2009 7:01 am

Mountain Coward your photograph really highlights the great curving profile of Binnein Beag. From a distance and at some angles it just looks like lonely boring lump on the landscape. It isn't until you get close up that you realise that in its own way its quite a graceful mountain. The good thing about the long walk in to get to its slopes, is that it is seldom busy.
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby yokehead » Sat May 09, 2009 6:19 pm

This looks like a fine mountain to me, and thanks for the additional pic mc. A wonderful report. 8)
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby Paul Webster » Sat May 09, 2009 6:28 pm

I haven't said it yet - great report Yokehead. This was the last of the Mamores for me too, together with the 'big bully' neighbour!
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby mountain coward » Sun May 10, 2009 1:50 am

Whoops Paul, it was Papagenos's report, not Yokehead's! Don't forget that when you put it in for best report for May :wink:
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby mountain tortoise » Sun May 10, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi there Mountain Coward
When did you do this walk. I was in the Mamores last week and the weather was terrible. Your pics look like it was quite good so I am curious which day were you there. I when up to do Sguur Eilde Mor on Thursday and I had to turn back with the people I was leading I did not fancy taking then up there the weather was so bad. Firday was better but we were over by Sgurr Dhomhnuill.
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby Papagenos » Sun May 10, 2009 7:25 pm

mountain tortoise wrote:Hi there Mountain Coward
When did you do this walk. I was in the Mamores last week and the weather was terrible. Your pics look like it was quite good so I am curious which day were you there. I when up to do Sguur Eilde Mor on Thursday and I had to turn back with the people I was leading I did not fancy taking then up there the weather was so bad. Firday was better but we were over by Sgurr Dhomhnuill.


I have to admit that the photos were taken on a walk last July. I had written the piece the week afterwards and had forgotten about it. I found it last week and decided to dust it down, rewrite it slightly and give it an airing.

The weather was really bad here on Thursday and Friday. I felt really sorry for those doing the West Highland Way as they entered or left the village looking as though they had been swimming ffully clothed for most of the day. I write this looking out on blue sky over the Mamores on what has been a really pleasant and warm spring day.
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby maddjock » Mon May 11, 2009 8:28 am

very poetic... my old english teacher would have loved that style of writing..
well done 8)
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Re: The Mamore Loner

Postby mountain coward » Tue May 12, 2009 12:23 am

mountain tortoise wrote:Hi there Mountain Coward
When did you do this walk. I was in the Mamores last week and the weather was terrible. Your pics look like it was quite good so I am curious which day were you there. I when up to do Sguur Eilde Mor on Thursday and I had to turn back with the people I was leading I did not fancy taking then up there the weather was so bad. Firday was better but we were over by Sgurr Dhomhnuill.


The single pic I attached was from about 3 years ago I think, certainly wasn't last year (the year without a summer) or the year before (ditto)! It was a red-hot day - lovely...
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